Skip to main content

tv   Frontline  PBS  December 10, 2013 2:00am-3:01am PST

2:00 am
mark walberg: welcome to antiques roadshow from des moines, iowa. man: this has been in mhouse ever since i've been a young kid. it's affectionately called "the thing." woman: my daughter put it on the floor right next to the dog food dish. and i kept looking at it because i thought it was so pretty. and she gave it to me. that is just wonderful. not bad for a leftover in an attic. stay tuned for another suspenseful hour of antiques roadshow. captioning sponsored by liberty mutual, subaru, the corporation for public broadcasting and viewers like you (firecrackers exploding) announcer: now, the people who make antiques roadshow possible. versatility and safety drive all our vehicle designs. because however big, small, new, or old your cargo may be, it's all precious.
2:01 am
subaru. a proud sponsor of antiques roadshow. it's not about the things we have, but the memories we make with them. liberty mutual insurance. proud sponsor of "antiques roadshow." and by contributions to your pbs station from: it's t welcome to antiques roadshow. hi, i'm mark walberg. this week we're in des moines. let's play a little word association game. if i say "iowa," what word comes to mind? well, if you thought corn, you're onto something. iowa is famously the largest producer of corn in the nation, harvesting almost 2 1/2 billion bushels of the crop in 2009. let's see what treasures crop up in des moines.
2:02 am
appraiser: howard, tell me about this football that you have right over here closest to you. this football i got in 1963, so i think it's a 1963 season. i got it in october of '63 when i got married. i invited a girl named rhoda to the wedding and she worked for dr. brusky. dr. brusky was a team physician for the packers at that time, and she gave me that as a wedding present. tell me about this football now, too. that one there i got i think in '65 or '66. i knew a guy named prosky, he was the groundskeeper then for the packers, and i asked if he could get me an autographed football. and he said, "well, go buy a football that you can write on easy." and he had them sign it and give it back. but i noticed when i got the box back it had "howard" on the top "prosky" and then somebody underneath wrote "frank howard." and frank howard used to be a ballplayer. he lived in green bay, used to play minor league ball in green bay, and i wondered maybe they, when they signed it, they thought they were signing it for frank howard and not plain old howard. (laughing)
2:03 am
well, how lucky for you to be able to have an in with the green bay packers to get an authentic signed football. that's wonderful. as old as they are, i mean, these signatures are about as dark as they could have been signed at the time, which is wonderful. and both footballs have essentially the same big names that became hall of famers. you know, you have vince lombardi, you have bart starr, jim taylor, willie wood-- these fantastic packers teams that really ruled the 1960s. and in this condition, they are just fantastic. now, what did you think that the value might be? well, i figured this one would be worth, oh, $500. and this one, because it's a lot easier to read the signatures and the ball is made for signatures, i figured maybe $750, $800, maybe $1,000 tops. okay. i wasn't sure about vince lombardi's signature because rumor around town was that he had dad braisher sign all his footballs for him because he was too busy. well, i can tell you that his signature,
2:04 am
which is right up on the top panel here, it is authentic. probably because he thought he was signing it for frank howard. (both laughing) well, this earlier ball is definitely a 1963 team-signed football. this is a 1966... '66? okay. signed team ball. and the great thing about this being a '66 is that it's the first year super bowl. i never thought of that. they're very, very nice. i think that this 1963 football, in auction, would probably sell for about $3,000. $3,000? yeah. even though it's hard to read some of the signatures because of the ball? the contrast is a little bit tough on it, but the signatures are still very dark, and that's the important thing, is the condition of the signatures. this ball, being the first super bowl ball, probably would have a value, in auction, at $4,000. that'd be $7,000 for the both. wow, great.
2:05 am
woman: my grandmother was an antique collector and also a dealer. i can remember her going on antique trips out east and grandma and grandpa would come back with a piece of furniture strapped on the top of their car. this is probably from the early 1800s. okay. and it's the last combination of a blanket chest that you see in the early 19th century that was based on the earlier form of what people called a six-board chest. it was made from six boards, and the last incarnation had the drawers in it. and the great thing about this one is the paint. back then, they would use pine or poplar or some other type of unadorned wood, construct the piece and then put the paint on it. the homes were very dark then, and when this was new, the paint was very exuberant. they were trying to basically brighten up their houses with it.
2:06 am
and i was noticing when i was going over this earlier that it looked like even the pulls had been painted over. i had noticed the pulls, too. i thought that was odd, but... that they painted over the brass pulls, but you do think they're original? yeah, i do. and those are hepplewhite-style pulls, and that's right for this time period. the whole thing probably was just a smorgasbord for the eyes when they picked it up new and put it in the house. you're missing a foot. right. and i think, originally, the feet might have been just a little bit higher. the top has wear and some of the paint decoration is missing on that, but that's common because that's the place it would have been touched the most. otherwise, though, i think it's a really nice chest. we talked about this at the furniture table, and we feel real comfortable that retail on this would be about $2,500. oh, okay, that's wonderful. it's a fun piece to have, so...
2:07 am
and it's useful. uh-huh. think about this: back then, all of your clothing would have fit in this. not anymore, but yeah. no, no. (laughter) woman: my daughter got it from her father-in-law. and, of course, it's very heavy. and she put it on the floor under the kitchen cabinet right next to the dog food dish. and it was there for two years, and i kept looking at it because i thought it was so pretty. and she gave it to me. and do you know what it's made of? i was hoping it's marble; i don't know. well, as you've learned today carrying it around, it's pretty heavy. yes. and it is made of marble. oh, good. and the artist's name is erastus dow palmer, who was american. born in 1817, died in 1904. and is widely considered to be one of the most important american sculptors of the 19th century. he is one of the earliest in the american neoclassical movement.
2:08 am
and this subject, while we don't know who it is, is really wonderfully carved. and on the reverse of the plaque, it's signed "1864." oh, my. so we know the date. while many of the neoclassical movement sculptors from america traveled to italy for an education, he was self-taught, which is another reason why he's considered to be such an important artist in the neoclassical movement. as we can see, we have a minor condition issue to the nose, which is a chip to the marble. and generally that would affect the value, and i feel that it has a little bit, but he's considered to be such an important artist that it doesn't bring it down as much as one might expect. if i were to see this at auction, i would put an auction estimate of $10,000 to $15,000 on it. and i've been carrying it around all afternoon. oh, my. eleven years ago, a similar plaque sold for $35,000.
2:09 am
now, the market has gone up and down and up and down since then. so we feel that $10,000 to $15,000 is a conservative auction estimate. thank you very much. thank you. thanks for bringing it in. man: my grandpa's brother died and there were some boxes of books and some of the family members were allowed to, you know, take stuff; i got the books. i haven't read the book, so... don't ask me what it's about. but he had put some of the books in protective plastic. some of the books had writing on the inside, and so i chose those. it's an interesting thing. when you get collectors that are collecting the modern first editions-- and when i say modern, i'm almost talking the last 70, 80, 90 years-- their dust jacket is the be-all and end-all. you open the book up, and you have the title page.
2:10 am
it's in good condition. it's a first edition. but, when you collect this type of book, the dust jacket is almost the whole value. so, one of the items i check for first is a lot of times someone will clip out the price. this has the price. that's very, very good. another thing that i did is i looked at the jacket, and it's a little hard to see, but the book underneath this is green. and the color of the book bled through on this edge right here. and i opened it up and there's no color underneath here. okay, so it didn't bleed through. it didn't bleed through. one of the things that you run into nowadays is where the dust jacket is 90% of the value, there are many people who, sometimes they do it purposely,
2:11 am
and they'll copy a dust jacket. they can do it incredibly well nowadays, but it's a copy. okay. or people bought the book and, not trying to defraud anybody, not trying to fake anything, but they just wanted a nice dust jacket on the book. okay. one or the other of this happened on this book because if the color had bled through, it absolutely had to be on the other side of it. right. so this is a high-quality reproduction of the dust jacket. also, the reproduction was taken from a library at some point because you can see that there was some type of library stamp here. so, the book, as it is, with a dust jacket that's not right, is worth, retail, $100 or so. it's not a terribly valuable book. but when you first brought this to me, and i looked at it and i saw this beautiful dust jacket, unclipped, i was saying, "that's a $3,500 book." it was originally worth five dollars, it was free to me,
2:12 am
so if it's a hundred-dollar book, you know, it's a hundred-dollar book. man: well, i ran across this very grimy painting at a consignment store. it was only priced for five dollars. i looked at it and i thought, "well, despite the grime, it looks pretty good." i looked at the background, it kind of seemed to be maybe impressionist. i didn't know much about it, but for five bucks i brought it home. and my wife told me i overpaid. how much did she tell you it was worth? a quarter. let me tell you what you found. it's inscribed, "to gordon from alson clark." alson clark was a california impressionist, but he didn't start in california. he studied under james mcneill whistler in paris, and he was an accomplished impressionist artist. he came to california for health reasons, and he went out into the desert in a rebuilt dodge truck
2:13 am
painting plein air paintings. and what i think you have here is one of those plein air paintings. i would place this painting probably 1930 or so. okay. and your painting that's worth a quarter to your wife is actually probably, at auction, would be estimated in the $600 to $1,200 range. very good, very good. woman: it was my late husband's, and he, i believe, acquired it from his father, who came from england in 1920. he was born in 1910. i didn't know that he had it, we never talked about it. we weren't married for a very long time, and he died suddenly. and i went through his things and i found it and i didn't know what it was. the chain is 14-karat gold. well, that's good. of course, we know gold is one of the highest prices that it's been in years, and we expect it to keep going up. and right at the time we're filming now, gold is at about $1,200 an ounce.
2:14 am
that's for pure gold. now, this chain is 14-karat gold. and that means it's a little more than half gold. the other half is metals they added to make it hard enough to be for jewelry. it's not from england. surprisingly, it's american. so, somehow your husband's family ended up with an antique, late-victorian american vest chain, even though they were english. there's a locket down at the bottom. it has a crystal on it, and this opens up. this part was the watch fob. the fob is what hung outside of the vest of the man's suit, and that's what they showed off. and this kind of locket, generally, if they could find one, they'd put a four-leaf clover in it and pressed it flat between the glass and it would magnify in that dome. the rest of this is a vest chain with very fancy links. and this is what the gentleman wore for his pocket watch. but i'm going to undo it.
2:15 am
these are very desirable and hard to find with such beautiful links. think about this-- i'm going to show you something. if we click this into this... and i'm going to reach down and get a necklace stand and do this. ladies love men's antique vest chains to wear as a beautiful old gold necklace. wow. in retail value, it's between $4,000 and $5,000 for this necklace. are you serious? if you were going to keep it as an heirloom and insure it, absolutely. minimum of $5,000 insurance to replace this chain. wow, i can't believe that. it's like... wow. the medal was worn by my great-great-great-grandfather and his son carried the signal book. he was an important man. what organization was he in? he was a brigadier general.
2:16 am
in the grand army of the republic. right, right. the union veterans of the civil war were in the grand army of the republic. it was their organization after the war. and he was instrumental in the state of iowa for helping form the grand army of the republic. you had a national organization and you had departments for each state or area. and he was actually the commander of all of iowa in 1874 and 1875. years later, in 1886, the state department of iowa wanted to say thank you for all he had done. they gave him this medal. av and on the back of it we have his name, the 1886 date that they gave it, and it was by unanimous vote. and it even says on the medal a unanimous vote to give it to him. and you can tell how much he loved this thing. he has that chest poked out and you can see that exact medal.
2:17 am
a lot of the medals were made just out of a simple cast brass or cast bronze. this one is jeweler-made. your ancestor was 50 years old when he went into service. he rose all the way from captain. he was brevetted brigadier general, meaning an honorary brigadier general at the end of the war. after the war, in the veterans organization, he was a general again. and we have the stars on the rank badge. we also have the 40 rounds, which is the corps badge that he served under during the war. because he was such an important man, that's why you have all of these extras on here. okay. now, this is out of this world. twenty years i have been enjoying civil war artifacts. i've never had a chance to lay my hands on one of these before. what is this? my dad always called it a signal book. it's for the signal corps. at the start of the civil war, there was not a signal corps. now we think of radio operators and things like that. back then they actually used flags-- they would wave the flags in certain directions,
2:18 am
they would wave certain flags, or they would use lights or torches. this one was used mainly on the mississippi river. at the southern part of the mississippi river, you have port hudson, which was the confederate stronghold on the mississippi. it was one the confederates just couldn't afford to lose. there were 6,800 confederates in the fort there at port hudson. and 30,000 union soldiers lay siege onto there, meaning that they bombed it and they bombed it and they bombed it. for 48 days, they threw everything but the kitchen sink at these guys. really? if we open up the book, if you notice, it was printed to be used in 1862. the battle was in '63; they mark out the two and put the threes. and it's so cool because you have a two-section paper. you have one where when a signal'd come in, you'd write down what they're saying and you'd sent it to the superior.
2:19 am
and a few of these are actually to admiral porter, who was in charge of the union navy at port hudson. they're requesting shells, they're requesting support. so the signatures in the book are actually the signalmen's writing, not actually ulysses s. grant and admiral porter? unfortunately not. it's the order from general grant, not directly written down by general grant. right, okay. and it's going to admiral porter. it's by their command, not by their hand. there's not a lot to compare it to. there might be others out there, but i honestly don't know of them. a regular message book from the civil war is a few hundred dollars. this one, i think, would easily bring $3,000. really? the medal and the photograph, they're priceless in iowa history because iowa played such a pivotal part during the civil war. the medal and the picture are probably another $1,000 or $1,500. really? i'd insure the three pieces for $5,000. thank you.
2:20 am
thank you. i'm excited. woman: this object i found in my mother's attic, so i brought it down and said, "mother, what is this?" she said, "it was here when we bought the house in 1942. "the house was built in 1911 and '12. "i have no idea what it is, and i'm not interested. if you want it, take it home." so i did. and it's been in my basement, wrapped up, ever since. and you don't know anything about it? i really don't. i know it's very old. i can see the numbers on it, and the coin. what is the date that you saw on the metal mount? i believe it was 1726. could you get the date off the coin? it might have been 1701. very good, excellent memory. now, do you know what it's made of? some kind of wood? it is made of birch. but it's a special kind of birch.
2:21 am
it's a kind of birch called burl birch. any part of the burl of the tree is pretty resistant to liquids, which is why it makes the most sense to use it in a tankard. as we look at this, you notice it's missing the thumb piece. and the thumb piece here would have been carved probably with a lion or maybe a flower. and this is actually called a peg tankard. this would have been to measure out even quantities. an extremely important tankard to a family. ceremonial, very good, and it comes from norway. really? i never would have guessed that. they're a pretty common form in norway. and it's got this beautiful carved trailing tulip here. and there's that big, old coin sticking right in the middle there. we would date it probably to the first half of the 1700s. it's got nice carved lion feet here. these are all silver mounts, and we do have some silver issues here. there's a big crimp. if you look on in the inside, you can see all the burls.
2:22 am
oh, for heaven's sakes. is it done by hand, do you think? absolutely. it's actually very, very nicely done. and it's got wonderful surface to it. it's really quite lovely. and i would say for replacement purposes, you'd be talking a value of around $5,000 on it. $5,000? that is just wonderful. attic.d for a leftover in a for a leftover in an attic and residing in my basement for a long time. thank you so much. the mystery is solved. wait till my brother finds out. i know. (laughing) oh, that's just wonderful. paint, pencil, metal, wood-- these are just some of the common materials artists have used for centuries to create their works. but what about sand? in the late 19th century, iowa artist andrew clemens took a local raw material and made masterpieces with every colorful grain.
2:23 am
expert wes cowan joined roadshow at the state historical museum of iowa to explore some of clemens's amazing sand bottles, now highly prized works of folk art. mark, these were all made by a gentleman named andrew clemens, who was from mcgregor, iowa. clemens was born in 1857 and died young in 1894, when he was only 37 years old. when he was five years old, he was stricken with encephalitis that left him completely deaf. and over the next couple decades, this guy mastered the technique of making these remarkable pictures better than anyone that i've known to exist. all of this sand was packed dry, no water involved, no glue involved, and all of those colors are naturally occurring from the area around mcgregor. let's start by talking about the smallest piece here. and if i didn't see it in comparison to the pieces we're about to look at,
2:24 am
i would think this was his ultimate masterpiece. when you look at this thing, you're struck by the level of detail. i mean, it's like a painting of the ship, and then these great, vibrant colors. pretty remarkable. in 2002, the first clemens bottle that any of us had ever seen appeared at the roadshow in hot springs, arkansas. at the time, we all were sort of scratching our head because we could find no auction records for one. so we said, oh, $4,000 to $6,000. since then, a number have come out of the woodwork and the price range is $4,000 to $6,000 all the way up to $25,000 they've sold for. so you would think a small bottle like this, similar to this, would be in the $4,000 to $6,000 range? exactly. at auction? exactly. and then we move to this second piece, and it is amazing. tell me about this. well, it really is a masterpiece. and the ships on the front are amazing. the detail on the back, with the flowers,
2:25 am
and the presentation inscription is really remarkable. i wouldn't be surprised at all to see one similar to that, if it... whenever it appeared on the market, to sell for $25,000 and up without breaking a sweat. boy, talk about a masterpiece, tell me about this large piece here. well, this bottle, 12 inches, we know was presented to the museum here by andrew clemens's relatives. and the story that came down with the bottle when it was presented was that clemens made this bottle for his mother and it took him two years to do. he signed it down at the bottom, "andrew clemens, mcgregor, iowa." of course, on the front you see the iowa state seal. but the back side, of course, is what is really remarkable. because here we see george washington, the father of our country, on horseback. and look at the shading on the horse. this particular piece is a one-of-a-kind made for his mom,
2:26 am
but if one like that were to have survived and is out there somewhere, what would you say that would be worth? you know, speaking theoretically, um, $50,000 and up. maybe $100,000. who knows? none has ever appeared. and if there was one out there like it, i'd love to know about it. it is amazing to see this beautiful art. and when you look at these pieces in particular and realize that not only is the detail amazing, but he did the entire thing upside down, capped it and then turned it right side up, it's just amazing. thanks for sharing them with us. well, i'm fascinated with the guy, and i'm glad you enjoyed it. man: this has been in my house ever since i've been a young kid. it's affectionately called "the thing." my mother said that it was put together by my great-great-grandmother. judging by some of the dates on the coins, they range from 1880 to 1890, so i would imagine it would have been done shortly thereafter.
2:27 am
it's just something you can sit and look at for hours on end, and you'll never see the same thing twice if you look at it long enough. it's a wonderful thing, "the thing." "the thing." it's a piece of memory art. and these pieces were made throughout the united states, typically made on ceramic jugs. the theory behind them is that when a relative passes away and drawers are cleaned out and little pieces of memories are found, they use those pieces to construct a piece of artwork as a memory of that person. and what i find intriguing about this is the fact that she made it of herself. and typically it was always thought they were made after the fact, when the person passed away. and when we start to examine this wonderful use of a late-19th-century pedestal, we see, starting from the top, see a little carved bible. and going down the piece, some of the things i find intriguing-- the coins, marbles.
2:28 am
these might have been memories, prizes that she won at a state fair... okay. these little triangular things... was she a potter or was there a kiln in the family? uh, that i don't know. because these are little stands that you put a piece of pottery on when you put it in the kiln for firing, so that the air gets underneath and bakes the underneath as well. and there are several of these throughout the memory piece. she must have had some skill to be able to put something like this together. absolutely. now, condition here is imperative, because this is all after-the- fact and applied to the wood. it's plaster, it dries up, the pieces fall off, and we always find them and they're in just deplorable condition. mm-hmm. this one is just virtually mint. now, these large marbles, tell me about those. uh, those were replaced at some time by my mother. they are not original.
2:29 am
okay, and you can tell that they're not late-19th-century marbles. but there were marbles on there. there were marbles on there, okay. well, let's just turn this around very slowly, and you see a gold bracelet. so there are things put in here of value. coins-- we don't know how rare they are. we found some teeth. (both chuckling) we do see memory pieces. but this is truly tour de force. and there are people that collect these, and they're very highly thought of in the folk art world, because they are original works of art. okay. and as a retail value, i would have no problem saying it was worth between $4,000 and $6,000. wow. that's quite a bit. it is, it is. for something that sat around in the house for years and years and years. woman: this vase is from my grandmother.
2:30 am
my grandmother was a cook for a wealthy lady in minneapolis around the turn of the century, and her brother was the family chauffeur, and over time, this woman and my grandmother became very close, and this woman gave my grandmother a lot of beautiful things, and this was one of them. and i have to say that i have always called it "the world's ugliest vase" and it's been living in my basement for 30 years. this vase is made by one of my favorite german companies. really? called royal bonn. we see a lot of german pottery and porcelain when we do antiques roadshow, and we've been seeing a lot today here in des moines. and i think royal bonn does not get its due. their wares are uslly not high-fired porcelain, like a lot of the other german or austrian makers. you can tell by the weight, and you can tell by the color. so it was less expensive to make something like this
2:31 am
than to make porcelain. it's fired at a lower temperature. you could tell that it is white earthenware. so they were less expensive to make, less expensive to fire, but the decorations on a lot of the porcelain pieces were done by transfer, which is commercial and quick. and royal bonn is usually done by hand. really? and often you have these lovely ladies on it or beautiful sprays of flowers. you don't see high art nouveau like this. so you've been to this exhibition on art nouveau, so you would have an idea of the time period-- about 1900 or so, plus or minus. royal bonn was started in 1836 by a gentleman called franz anton mehlem, and added the name "royal" in 1890 and was eventually sold to the very large and important villeroy & boch in 1920.
2:32 am
so let's look at the piece all around. it has these beautiful irises, very stylized flowers. some incisions that have been glazed. we have a little chip here. yes. this is also what happens when it is lower fired. it's a little more fragile. there are also some little chippies down here, nothing major. these would be fairly easy to restore. that chip over there may cost you $50, $75 to have fixed. as far as value goes, many, many pieces of royal bonn are just in the low hundreds, but this has such nice style to it, has a good shape, a good size, i would think that at auction it should be able to bring about a thousand dollars. wow. so i guess i'll take it out of the basement then. well, thank you. i'm beginning to think a lot more highly of it now.
2:33 am
woman: i bought them in 1999, within about a month of each other, from a dealer, and he had rather lavish descriptions of each of them. but i just thought they were fascinating, and i really liked them, so i bid and i won the auctions. the printouts that i made off the auction site said that the fly whisk was probably kongo. he said it was ivory, and he didn't describe the hair on the bottom, but i think it's elephant hair. the center figure is a fang... i think it's pronounced "bieri" box, in which they kept cranial caps, and that is a guardian figure, and they brought the cranial caps out at rituals and special times, and in the meantime, they kept it in a hut and the figure guarded the ancestors' bones. the small mask i know nothing about. he said it was bakuba. he thought it was a child's initiation mask, but i do know that small masks were worn on foreheads and on shoulders, so it's not necessarily a child's mask
2:34 am
just because it's small. was this on the internet? yes, this was on the internet. and so did he give you guarantees, or how did that work? no, he did not give me any guarantees. okay, this first one is a kongo-style... now, the country that it's from is the democratic republic of the congo, and that's spelled with a "c." mm-hmm. the tribal name is spelled with a "k"-- k-o-n-g-o. now, the first thing that we do when we know what an object is, we look for the appropriate wear patterns. this is a fly whisk. it's a status symbol. it's a symbol of authority. and so what we'd expect to see is a great deal of wear where the hand would have touched this. mm-hmm. now, it's somewhat troublesome that the patination seems somewhat even on this and not really indicative of a great deal of wear. so this is definitely a reproduction, which is being made for sale, fly whisk.
2:35 am
this piece is probably somewhere around mid-20th century. now, this piece over here, these fang features are very exaggerated. this shape of the head is really troublesome. mm-hmm. and so in my judgment, this piece was also made for sale. okay. now, this piece here you thought is a mask. i think it's the top to a kuba box. really? because when you look at the wear along here, down on the nose, the side here, the kuba don't have any masks like this. really? but they do have a tradition of box making... yes, and i have a few boxes. and they have lids. it never occurred to me. now, stylistically it's really weird, it's really aberrant. i think this is a little bit earlier. i think this is the first half of the 20th century, maybe into the '20s or the '30s. yeah. now, the total that you have on this piece. what did you pay for this? $1,200, about.
2:36 am
twelve hundred. mm-hmm, and $2,800 for that. twenty-eight hundred. and $500... and $500. $500 for that. so our total is... $4,500, about. $4,500. unfortunately, the total value of these pieces is going to be more in the $500 to $600 range. wow. you'd expect on the internet or in a retail shop, this piece would be somewhere around $100, $150. a piece like this is going to be in the $200 to $300 range. okay. this piece over here as an authentic kuba box lid without the box... (chuckles): right. for a retail price, you're still looking at about $150. if they were all authentic, easily the group could be in the $50,000 to $60,000 range.
2:37 am
man: well, i found this book when i was at college. once a year they have a book sale. this was in the religious section of books for 25 cents. i thought it sounded interesting, so i picked it up. it's houdini's miracle mongers and their methods. as you may know, when his mother passed away, he was very interested in trying to reach her, and he went to a lot of mediums and he went to a lot of séances. and after a while he began to see that these were a lot of fakes and people were taking advantage of people who were in mourning. mmm. houdini didn't like that, and he knew a lot of the techniques they were using. so he took it upon himself, from about 1920 on, which is the year this was published, to start exposing them and going to séances and would debunk them. he put out this book, which was debunking a lot of the methods that were used. and the title says, "a complete exposé of the modus operandi "of fire eaters, heat resisters, poison eaters,
2:38 am
"venomous reptile defiers, sword swallowers, human ostriches, strong men, and the like." so it was a real exposé on what he knew. we have the first page, houdini has inscribed it. erik weisz was his original, his birth name, and he changed it to houdini for show business. but here he's inscribed it in a bold, clear signature, "to w.s. davis, best wishes from the author, houdini, january 1921." so, right after publication. the book was published, like i said, in 1920. a lot of times they're dated 1920. it would have come out the beginning of '21, january. i'm sure it was an early presentation. it's a great thing. the book itself is worth several hundred dollars in this condition. it's in fairly good condition. wow. with the inscription, though, significantly impacts it. his autograph is relatively rare. i mean, he did sign things, but on this book in particular, it's a good one to have inscribed. copies have come up at auction, and we would estimate this at $2,000 to $3,000.
2:39 am
really? yeah, so you did very well for your... on your purchase. my husband and i were at an estate sale, and it was around valentine's day, and he decided it would be a great present for me for valentine's day, which i was thrilled about. he paid $20 for it. they had a piece of masking tape on the top of it that said it was from 1871. and that's all i know. well, we know that's accurate, the date is, because of the style of the gown. and this was considered very seductive for the time, because it actually showed the woman's form from the front. up until this period, you had all this skirt and you didn't see the movement of the woman's hips when she walked. of course, she was corseted up, and a good corset will take three inches off of your waist. wow. so, while this waist of this gown measures 21 inches right now on this mannequin, it would have been about a modern 24-inch waist,
2:40 am
which would have made you a size zero or size one today. there are a few condition issues, but overall, the look is in what we would call good vintage condition. okay. if you were going to a nice vintage clothing show or a shop, you would expect to pay between $600 and $800 for this dress. oh, wonderful, wonderful. man: this picture is of my granddad, franklin augustus seiberling, sr., who started goodyear rubber company and then went on to found seiberling rubber company in the 1920s. after my dad died, it was given to me. do you know when it was given to your grandfather? it was given in 1928. it is listed on the back that it was given by his sales staff to him as a gift. now, what i want to do here first of all is take it out of its box. now, what's interesting about this watch,
2:41 am
not only was it a presentation piece, but it was also the 50th anniversary celebration of the gruen watch company being in business from 1874 to 1924. the gruen watch company was set up in 1874 in cincinnati, ohio, and what they did was they produced a watch with a solid gold movement. and not only that, they put ruby jewels in it, 21 of them, plus two diamonds as well. and the metal is pink gold. now, these watches are not unique. they made a small production run of them, and over the years i've seen a few of these. but what i've never seen is the watch in its original presentation box. and you're very lucky. you have saved one of the advertisements for this watch when it was brand new. now, very seldom do these watches really ever survive with all of this material. and when i was looking at the box, inside i found this small tin box.
2:42 am
now, this was designed to be a jewelry box. but furthermore, it has some other goodies in it as well-- a small box from the gruen watch company, which, when you open it up, has a crystal. it's pentagonal because it's the 50th anniversary watch. it's a spare part. should you ever be so unfortunate as to break the crystal of this watch, they've supplied you with another. you'll find these watches in a price guide for maybe $4,000 to $6,000 for an auction. but when it's in this kind of condition, when it has the portrait of the owner, you have a bit of the advertising with it, it's in its original box, it's hardly ever been used, you have a spare crystal, it falls into the category, really, of a mint condition watch. in an auction, i would probably estimate this somewhere around $8,000 to $10,000. oh, very good. thank you. you're quite welcome.
2:43 am
these belonged to my late husband's great-aunt and her husband, who owned movie theaters in northwest iowa. they had 11 at one time. really? this was the '20s through the early '50s, i believe. well, you brought a large selection here. there's a whole bunch in this folder. right. plus there's production yearbooks, lobby cards, one-sheets. these are called window cards. mm-hmm. they were sent to the movie theaters for the theater to mark here the name of the theater and the play dates. and then they would go out to local stores and give them this to put in their window-- hence the name-- and give them a couple of passes to the theater. right. that type of thing. and they were always on a light cardboard, and most of them, the early ones, were silkscreened. mm-hmm. they're a very pleasant format for collectors because they're smaller than the large posters...
2:44 am
yes. but they have very strong graphics, so window cards are very popular. now, a full window card measures 14 x 22, and this is a complete window card for the original 1937-38 release of snow white and the seven dwarfs. the film was in release for, like, three years. most of the window cards were in the later part of the run, and this is most likely a '39. this piece would, at auction, sell for $4,000 to $5,000. now, this is a common occurrence with window cards-- they're trimmed. people liked them, but they didn't like all this writing at the top, so they would take the top off and then you get a 14 x 17. okay. now, strangely enough, it does not really detract that much okay. from the value, because collectors know that the only thing up here... was blank. was either blank or there was some writing in it. now, this is from the general release of gone with the wind. gone with the wind opened up
2:45 am
in limited engagements with an intermission. right. it got the... really the posh treatment. mgm was really treating it as a special movie. but then it went into the regular run, what we call a grind run, where it showed all day long. and this was their tag line-- "nothing cut but the price." okay. even though it was showing in your movie theater all day long, it was exactly the same one that was showing before. so this dates from about 1940. and as a trimmed lobby card, it would sell for $1,500 to $2,000. okay. this one is from 1939, and it's a very desirable image, very desirable poster, and would sell for about $2,000 to $2,500. now, the wheeler and woolsey hold 'em jail is from 1932. and there is almost no paper on this. yeah. we have found almost nothing on this title. in many cases, something like this, when it comes up for auction, it will become the guide
2:46 am
for all the other people who find material related to this film. sure. so it's a rather important piece and would sell in the $3,000 range. my. now, i went over the entire portfolio with another appraiser, and we came to the conclusion this would sell in the $25,000 to $28,000 range at auction. well, ola, who was the theater owner, would be thrilled. the guy's name on here is my grandpa. in 1939, he was nine years old. my great-great-grandfather drove him to kalamazoo, michigan, to pick it up, and then it came into my possession and now i'm going to cherish it, for sure. he played... it's the square... square dances. with a tenor banjo? with a tenor banjo. which, you know, is a gibson. yep. and it's a very interesting model. it's a florentine model. gibson, during the big band era of the 1920s and '30s made lots of these very loud... yeah, it is.
2:47 am
mastertone model banjos. and not only very loud, but in some cases very fancy, like this one. the florentine was all carved and painted up as you can see. and this is an interesting variation on the florentine, because florentines generally didn't have what we call the "hearts and flowers" inlay here and this checkerboard pattern. that's what you'd find on style 6 gibson mastertones. this is probably a custom model. the banjo was actually made in 1927. '27, okay. according to the serial number; i looked inside. the first year for the florentine banjo. and i'm not really sure whether the first year involved some variations or not. perhaps the strangeness of the banjo is because it was the first period for them, and strangely, a pearloid peghead overlay that doesn't have any rhinestones in it, and originally these all had rhinestones, the ones i've ever seen. the other thing is that it's got an ebony fingerboard, and some of these models back then had rosewood. you'll see that this one is rather heavily carved with this interesting kind of royal motif.
2:48 am
yes. the metalwork is engraved metalwork and gold-plated as well. you have that also on the tailpiece and on the armrest. and... you've got gold-plated tuners. okay. just gold-plated. gold-plated, not solid gold, gold-plated. okay. and this strange cord hanging down is because the gentleman who played it had a skin head on it before this and they used to use a light bulb inside to heat up the skin head to tighten it up before a performance. this should have a retail value of $8,000 to $10,000. yeah? that's amazing, really. are you going to play it? you bet. well, like i said, i can make it make noise, but i can't play a tune, but you bet i'm going to play it. woman: we were in france for a business trip, and i had a chance to go either to versailles or to the flea market,
2:49 am
and i chose going to the flea market. i'd always heard about it, always envisioned it, and this is where i went. you found this, and when was that? that was in '61, '62. so almost 50 years ago. oh, yes. well, you know who the artist is. it's by a romanian artist named demetre chiparus. yes. and he was one of the leading sculptors of the art deco period. so he worked basically in the 1920s and 1930s. and this work that you have is really incredible. it's gilt bronze, and this is carved marble. he did a number of works that had mixed materials. he's really well known for having done bronzes that had ivory in them that were further painted. his work is really quite rare, and as a matter of fact, even though i'm saying that it's rare, we see more chiparuses on the antiques roadshow than any other sculpture. there's only one reason, though. most of the chiparuses we see are fake.
2:50 am
oh, they are? but you're lucky enough to have one that is authentic. it is a genuine chiparus from the 1920s, from the 1930s. what's so interesting about yours is the size of it. most of the chiparuses are sort of this big or this big, and you have the giant economy size chiparus. it was a hassle to get it home, i can tell you that. well, you're lucky that you persevered. it's in great condition. it's gilt bronze, and then this has a brown patina on it, and you have the marble and it's slightly tinted here. this piece is called the clown's dream in the literature. over here we have the signature. it's signed "chiparus." now, you didn't pay very much for it at the paris flea market, did you? (chuckling): no, i didn't. 50 dollars. 50 dollars. i'm embarrassed to say. chiparus's works are very desirable now. there's a strong influence of russians on the market, and the russian collectors like chiparus.
2:51 am
i could see a value for this in a gallery of $100,000. oh, m... oh... my... goodness. oh, my goodness. oh! i am shh... i am... beyond shocked. i had... oh! whew! and the market is very strong for this. this is extraordinarily unusual in this size. and the condition also is just extraordinary. it has everything going for it across the board. it... it means a lot to me. well, that's good. i really... love the piece. i cannot believe it. thank you so much. you're welcome.
2:52 am
you're watching antiques roadshow from des moines, iowa. check out roadshow online at to watch this and other episodes, appraisal clips and web-exclusive video. don't go away. we'll hear from folks in the feedback booth right after this. versatility and safety drive all our vehicle designs. because however big, small, new, or old your cargo may be, it's all precious. subaru. a proud sponsor of antiques roadshow. it's not about the things we have, but the memories we make with them. liberty mutual insurance. proud sponsor of "antiques roadshow." and by contributions to your pbs station from:
2:53 am
walberg: and now, it's time it's t for the roadshow feedback booth. dad, this was ugly when you inherited it, and it's still ugly, but it's worth $400 to $600. whoo-hoo! (laughing) we got in at 8:00... we got in at 8:00, out at 9:00. we got the rest of the day to go shopping before our husbands find out what we're up to. glad we came to roadshow. mine was appraised at $30 to $50. his was appraised at $30,000 to $50,000. whoa, betty. so this is dancing dan that was made for my father-in-law back in 1926. we didn't know if it was worth anything, but today i found out it was worth $400. hi-- we got up early today and came to the roadshow. we had a great time. i found out her glassware is worth... a thousand bucks. and these not so much. but we had a great time. yes, we did. and i'm buying lunch. i brought my 50-cent yard find, and they're worth about 15 bucks apiece. i lost my dad, i don't know where he's at.
2:54 am
i hope they get a good price for him. um, great experience, great time with my dad. thank you. this is usually date night watching... roadtrip. roadshow. roadshow. antiques roadshow. wow, this is a trip. and we found out our family heirlooms are worth a little bit, but they're worth even more to us, and that's all that matters. but boy, did we have fun. it's been a good day, and prices are really, really favorable. thanks, it's been a joy. i'm mark walberg. thanks for watching. we'll see you next time on antiques roadshow. captioned by media access group at wgbh walberg: i'm sure there are viewers right now who are watching who have sand art, and they may think they have clemens' work, but there were imitators doing this kind of work, weren't there? that's right. almost immediately, as clemens gained success and fame, imitators sprung up. and we've got a bottle made by a guy named john adams
2:55 am
from mason city, iowa, and it's signed and dated 1933. when you look at that, though, you're immediately struck by, "that's really good, but it doesn't compare with these." just look at the level of detail. the imagery in this bottle is sort of murky compared to the crispness here. when you look at this piece alone, you would remark at the detail. but when you see it in comparison to clemens' work, you immediately realize it couldn't have been him. but, you know, even a bottle like that still has value. can you give us an example of what a bottle similar to this might go for? it's not as valuable as the clemens bottles, but still, i think in the right setting, that could sell for $2,500, $3,000. well, as a small child, there was an antiques shop across the street from the grocery store that we used to go to, and i always wanted to stop and my mother never stopped. but for my sixth birthday, she stopped at that antique shop and she bought for me a handmade wooden bank for a dollar.
2:56 am
now, in the '60s, a dollar was a lot more than it is now, but that was my first antique, and it was the most wonderful birthday present i think i ever got. at least i thought it was. so that started me collecting at a young age.
2:57 am
2:58 am
2:59 am
3:00 am
welcome to antiques roadshow. got treasures? des moines sure does. man: this piece my father acquired, i'm guessing either at a flea market or a gun show. woman: i said it was very ugly. we had a laugh about it. and it didn't get brought out until friday. oh, my goodness. that's wonderful. don't miss a minute of antiques roadshow from des moines, iowa. stay tuned. captioning sponsored by subaru, liberty mutual, the corporation for public broadcasting and viewers like you (firecrackers exploding) announcer: now, the people who make antiques roadshow possible. it's not about the things we have, but the memories we make with them.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on